Climbs / Mount Kilimanjaro

Northern Circuit Route with Crater

Hiking down on snow

2018/2019:  US $4,995
per person, double occupancy (single supplement US $475)
13 days / 12 nights (10 days on the mountain)
Route climbable year-round.  January through March and mid-June through October are driest months.
Incorporates all elements of an exceptional climb:  remote wilderness trail, unrivaled views from all sides of the mountain, unhurried pace allowing climbers to savor the experience with absolute acclimatization, crater overnight, and morning summit ascent.
northern-circuit-route map
The calendar below lists all confirmed Kilimanjaro climbs. Join a confirmed group or start a new climb group on your dates (2 persons minimum required to start a new group unless paying for a solo supplement).  Private climbs can also be scheduled.  Contact us to discuss dates and route you would like.


• Route encircles the mountain at ±13,000′ / 4,000m.
• Long sections of undisturbed environment.
• Ten total days on Kilimanjaro for maximum acclimatization.
• Morning summit ascent starts at dawn.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Arrival. Mbahe Village Farm Cottages (6,200′ / 1900m).
Day 2: Village cultural walk, rest, climb preparation. Mbahe Village Farm Cottages.
Day 3: Londorossi Gate (6,890’ / 2100m) to Big Tree Camp (8,700’ / 2650m). Hiking distance: 3.8mi / 6,1km.
Day 4: Big Tree Camp (8,700’ / 2650m)  to Shira 1 Camp (11,420’ / 3480m). Hiking distance: 4.7mi / 7,6km.
Day 5: Shira 1 Camp (11,420’ / 3480m) to Shira 2 Camp (12,750’ / 3885m). Hiking distance: 5.3mi / 8,5km.
Day 6: Shira 2 Camp (12,750’ / 3885m) to Moir Hut Camp (13,630’ / 4154m). Hiking distance: 4.9mi / 7,9km.
Day 7: Moir Hut Camp (13,630’ / 4154m) to Pofu Camp (13,230’ / 4032m). Hiking distance: 5.6mi / 9km.
Day 8: Pofu Camp (13,230’ / 4032m) to Third Cave Camp (12,910’ / 3935m). Hiking distance: 4.4mi / 7km.
Day 9: Third Cave Camp (12,910’ / 3935m) to School Hut Camp (15,480’ / 4718m). Hiking distance: 3.1mi / 5km.
Day 10: School Hut Camp (15,480’ / 4718m) to Crater Camp (18,800′ / 5730m). Hiking distance: 3.9mi / 6,2km.
Day 11: Crater Camp (18,800’ / 5730m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340′ / 5895m) to Millennium Camp (12,530’ / 3820m). Hiking distance: 5.9mi / 9,4km.
Day 12: Millennium Camp (12,530’ / 3820m) to Mweka Gate (5,380’ / 1640m). Hiking distance: 8.5mi / 13,7km. Ameg Lodge, Moshi Town.
Day 13: Moshi Town tour. Departure.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival/Mbahe Village Farm Cottages (6,200’ / 1900m)
We will pick you up upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and bring you to Mbahe Village, located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, approximately 2 hours from the airport. Accommodations are in SENE’s private cottages at Simon Mtuy’s Mbahe Village Farm.
Overnight: Mbahe Farm Cottages.
Meals: D.

Day 2: Mbahe Village Farm Cottages (6,200’ / 1900m)
You have the morning to rest and relax. Enjoy delicious “homebrew” coffee, grown and roasted on the farm, and meals made with fruits and vegetables from the garden. Your trip leader will provide a climb orientation and equipment check. This is also a day to take a guided tour around Mbahe Village, the Mtuy family farm, and to swim in the river and waterfall running through Simon’s land.
Overnight: Mbahe Farm Cottages.
Meals: B,L,D.

Day 3: Londorossi Gate (6,890’ / 2100m) to Big Tree Camp (8,700’ / 2650m)
After breakfast, we drive to Londorossi Gate, where you will meet your other guides and mountain crew and enter the Kilimanjaro National Park. From the trailhead, we walk for a few hours uphill through the thick and undisturbed montane forest to our camp for the night. Many beautiful flowers are seen en route and with luck, we will observe colobus monkeys at play. In the evening you may hear the unforgettable shrieking call of the tree hyrax.
Overnight: Big Tree Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 3.8mi / 6,1km.

Day 4: Big Tree Camp (8,700’ / 2650m) to Shira 1 Camp (11,420’ / 3480m)
Today we reach the west side of the Shira Plateau in a hiking time of 6 hours. Taking our time walking through the forest allows us to observe its animal and bird life. The day’s hike takes us from the montane forest, through a transition zone, and into the heather zone, where old lava flows are visible. Your guides will point out unique environmental differences that characterize each zone. After a picnic lunch, we reach the edge of the Plateau and eventually our camp that offers a dramatic view of Kilimanjaro and its permanent glaciers.
Overnight: Shira 1 Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 4.7mi / 7,6km.

Day 5: Shira 1 Camp (11,420’ / 3480m) to Shira 2 Camp (12,750’ / 3885m)
Today is an easy paced acclimatization day of 4 to 5 hours hiking. Camp is set higher on the Shira Plateau with more expansive views of Kilimanjaro. There is a conditioning hike in the afternoon where you can examine the clusters of giant lobelias and senecios that grow at this elevation.
Overnight: Shira 2 Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 5.3mi / 8,5km.

Day 6: Shira 2 Camp (12,750’ / 3885m) to Moir Hut Camp (13,630’ / 4154m)
Today we start by heading due east toward Kibo, before veering northward as we start our circumnavigation of the northern flank of Kilimanjaro and diverge from the routes leading along the south side. The majesty of the solitude begins to envelop us as we enjoy the remoteness of the route. The sheer-sided peaceful valley where camp is set affords wonderful views over Shira, from whence we just came, and up to Kibo where we will be in a few days.
Overnight: Moir Hut Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 4.9mi / 7,9km.

Day 7: Moir Hut Camp (13,630’ / 4154m) to Pofu Camp (13,230’ / 4032m)
We have a steep climb out of the Moir Valley, followed by more gradual up-and-down ascent up to 14,400 feet before a long descent and a brief rock scramble to our camp more than a thousand feet lower. This helps in acclimatization as we “climb high, sleep low.” The rarely-used path can be followed by the cairns placed at periodic intervals. Pofu means eland in Swahili as the area was popular in the past for these majestic antelope to graze in the area.
Overnight: Pofu Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 5.6mi / 9km.

Day 8: Pofu Camp (13,230’ / 4032m) to Third Cave Camp (12,910’ / 3935m)
Leaving Pofu Camp, we’ll continue to circle around the mountain’s north side, with magnificent views of Kenya the whole way. The route crosses several valleys and ridges, each distinct from the next, making for lots of up-and-down Kilimanjaro Climb and a surprisingly tiring day of hiking. You will notice that the vegetation begins to thin with the drier conditions on this northeastern section of Kilimanjaro.
Overnight: Third Cave Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 4.4mi / 7km.

Day 9: Third Cave Camp (12,910’ / 3935m) to School Hut Camp (15,480’ / 4718m)
There is a steady ascent to reach the saddle, a lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here we continue upwards and reach School Hut (15,500 feet) in the early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent resting and preparing for the summit day.
Overnight: School Hut Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 3.1mi / 5km.

Day 10: School Hut Camp (15,480’ / 4718m) to Crater Camp (18,800′ / 5730m)
We have a long and steep ascent with many switchbacks up to Gillman’s Point, from which we traverse the crater rim, then at Stella Point descend slightly into the crater. Across the floor of the crater is Crater Camp, with its great views of the surrounding glaciers.
Overnight: Crater Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 3.9mi / 6,2km.

Day 11: Crater Camp (18,800’ / 5730m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340′ / 5895m) to Millennium Camp (12,530’ / 3820m)
After an early breakfast, we make the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, reaching the 19,340 foot summit of Kilimanjaro by 8 a.m. At this early hour, before the clouds close in, you will have spectacular views of Africa in all directions. After a brief stay for photos, hugs, and high fives, we descend 2 to 3 hours to Barafu Camp for lunch, rest, and to take off extra layers. Continuing downhill 3 to 4 hours to the edge of the Mweka Forest, we reach the final night’s camp – 7,000 feet below the summit! Eat, share your experiences of the climb, and sleep soundly. Congratulations, you touched the Roof of Africa!
Overnight: Millennium Camp.
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 5.9mi / 9,4km.

Day 12: Millennium Camp (12,530’ / 3820m) to Mweka Gate (5,380’ / 1640m); Moshi Town
Our last day is another descent of 7,000 feet with 4 to 5 hours of hiking to the exit at Mweka Gate. The trail is steep in places and within the forest may be slippery if wet. After a hearty celebration lunch with the whole team on private SENE land near the exit gate to say goodbye to the mountain crew, the trip leaders bring you to the Ameg Lodge in Moshi Town to relax, have dinner, and enjoy its spacious garden and swimming pool.
Overnight: Ameg Lodge
Meals: B,L,D.
Hiking distance: 8.5mi / 13,7km.

Day 13: Moshi Town/Departure
Those heading out on safari or to Zanzibar will depart after breakfast to continue your African adventure. For those returning home, we offer you a guided tour of Moshi Town with its colorful market and curio shops. You may eat lunch in town or back at the lodge (lunch not included). Transfer by SENE to the Kilimanjaro Airport.
Meals: B.

  • All accommodations for 13 days / 12 nights.
  • All meals as indicated (B,L,D) with all drinks.
  • On climb, filtered water (by Katadyn Expedition® filter) and coffee, teas, cocoa.
  • Services of trip leader, climbing guides, and mountain crew.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park entrance, camping, and rescue fees, including supplemental crater camp fee.
  • All camping and dining equipment (excluding sleeping bag and pad).
  • Portable private toilet with bio-degradable waste system (Cleanwaste®) at all camps.
  • Gamow bag (portable hyperbaric chamber) and supplemental oxygen for emergency descents.
  • Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport and to/from park entrance/exit gates.
  • Guided Mbahe Village walking tour.
  • Guided Moshi Town walking tour.
Tips and gratuities to leaders, guides, crew, or other staff; additional accommodations and meals made necessary by airline schedule changes, inability to complete the climb, finishing the climb before the scheduled completion date, or other factors; pre‐trip expenses such as immunizations, travel insurance, passports, and visas; international airfare; airport departure taxes; and any expenses of a personal nature such as souvenirs and laundry.
Trip prices are based on SENE costs, fees, and supplier prices in effect at the time of booking. SENE reserves the right to alter trip prices should inflation, cost of fuel, labor, materials, or exchange rates change. If the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) raises park fees, or any hotel, lodge, camp, airline, or any other service provider raises their rates, SENE reserves the right to require additional payment from the client.